Montag, 5. Oktober 2015

African week in ISB Aesch Basel, Switzerland

Percussions, dance, drama, storytelling, african village and  market scene. For many years we are working with ISB grade 5. We really work with them on the african field. We teach them traditional songs and its dances. This year we were four teachers working with 85 children.
As we do it every year in the beginning we take away the shyness and bring them the motiviation to participate. You will see them realizing their improve and every day it goes further and further. The reason why we like to work with ISB grade 5 is, the children always knew the group of last year grade 5 and make a competition out of it to perform better and show it to the grade 4 and the whole school. That’s how we do the workshop every year. This give us, the teachers also the possibility to work with them without hesitating.
This year I was teaching them a story about a boy from Eguafo, who has difficulties in his family. But he always tries to solve the problem by himself and support the family additional. Their farm was not functioning well and the parents have problems to feed their children. He always went to the city to shine shoes and bring the money to the parents. Additional he had to go to school. He did that for many years with the help of the teachers. He studied good in the school and that helped him not to do much homework, so he had enough time to go and work. He always gave appreciation and thanks to his teachers.
I saw that this story touched the teachers in the ISB very much. Additional they performed a drama about elders in Eguafo. How they take care of the community, how to solve problems and how to organize them to do the community work. They have the youth, who voted themselves to help the children for homework and other activities.
All these dramas is to show that everything you do in this life, you need a support and help and then you can work as a team and achieve it. And this is where our motto came in: no stress, no panic, freedom but concentration. Music brings energy, energy brings happyness.
This year the teachers of ISB wanted to take part of the show. We worked with them for 90 minutes and you can see that they are looking forward to stand infront of their pupils to show them how much interest and talent they also have in music and dance. We tried to push them a bit harder and they did their best and we had a nice dance together. The pupils didn’t know about the teachers show. So it was a big surprise. It was thrilling and with our support they gave all.
Every year we the teachers performed, but only the grade 5 teachers and sometimes the director of the school as well. This year almost all the teachers took part in the workshop and the performance. It was so beautyful and we are looking forward to meet them next year.

This is unit work.

Freitag, 4. September 2015

Benefit concert with Aaron Bebe: August 2015

Benefit concert  with Aaron Bebe: August 2015 

A great performance was the concert with Ghanaian musicans and swiss musicians combined. We used bell, Kpanlogo drums, gome, seprewa, imbira, guitar, saxophon and bass. The atmosphere was very good, both from the musicians and the audience. The concert was a benefit for supporting Aarons son for his operation in Zürich. The mood of the little boy was making everybody additional happy. Coinsidently it was also his birthday. Chris got 5 years old. The concert was really dynamic and the music travelled with the audience. The whole concert hall sounded like we are in Ghana, but we were in Untersiggenthal in Switzerland. Additional there were balafon players using the Ghanian traditional xylofon who also increased the mood with their energetic playing.  In the end all of us came together and we had a very nice jam session.
 Just a few weeks later in the same month I was playing with another percussion group, known as kobolo drummers. It was an open air festival. As we arrived I saw a lot of people watching me with a big smile and friendlyness. I thought it was because I was wearing a Ghanain T-shirt. A group of young people came to me and they said we were watching you playing recently. I asked them where this was and they said it was in Untersiggenthal on the benefit concert. Not knowing most of the audience which watched the concert with Aaron, was at the festival. So I found out that this village we were playing belonged to Obersiggenthal. This time the style we were going to play was more traditional with different sorts of percussion instruments as Sogo, Kidi, Kaganu, Kpanlogo, Marakash, bell and Kroboto. It was a great audience which gave us a lot of energy and cheering. The concert kept going on good and good and good. Our energy kept on increasing.
Music brings energy, energy brings happyness and happyness can lead you inbetween two villages like Obersiggenthal and Untersiggenthal.

Mittwoch, 15. Juli 2015

Experiences in music with children and youngsters

Music can travel with you and you will not realize with whom you are with.

Some traditional music from Africa is very difficult to understand. Specially combined with bell and marakash. Polyrhythms are giving the difficulties. Some of the pupils don't undestand and hear the connection inbetween the bell, marakash and the drum rhythms.
After working with them for one week, suddenly I can hear them trying to communicate with me on the drum. I immediatly adopt what they try to do and support them for them to understand it better.
All this communication is through rhythms, not with words.
Slowly they start to understand the way of communication without words and respond to it.
After the workshop we have a very wonderful show one Saturday and Sunday in May, which the audience was thrilled about.
A Ghanain musician was also in the audience, who then joined us on the stage. We did some 6/8 rhythms and combined it with bamboo flute. We also played 4/4 rhythms and sang some songs from all over the world towards it.
I do work in schools for many years now and I take part in music school camps for many times. This year I was very impressed about the camp.

For many years I am teaching at the music school Frick in Switzerland. Every year we do a different programm for the music school concerts all around the region. What I like from my pupils is, that they always have a confidence. They are from kindergarden till primary school.
They look so small if we have a concert with other students from the musicschool, but they always surprise everybody with their energy and their ability to concentrate. That gives me a possibility to change our programm any time. Or even create somthing new on the stage. They love to take part and you can see and feel that they also enjoy it. That gives me that possibilty to create new rhythms on the stage and the audience will not even recognize it. The pupils are flexible and have  a good understanding. To work with them is so easy going for me, so everytime we are on stage performing for the musicschool I introduce them as my music colleagues to the audience. I saw, that they like this very much and appreciate it. And you can see a big smile from their faces.
Some teachers who understand our African music and know how difficult it can be, they are surprised how these children can go far. Because I can do every rhythm with them on stage.
Our best concert this year was the opening of the Red Cross meeting in Aargau.

I am looking forward to meet them after holidays again and also the new pupils which are joining.
My motto will always be the same: no stress no panik - music gives energy - energy gives happyness.
Everytime I play music it gives me happyness. And I know it is the same to a lot of people.

Sonntag, 25. Januar 2015

African week

African week in Widen Primary school. 

The primary school Widen offered to all their Students workshops about Africa. The programm was about the Ashanti and Northern Kingdom of Ghana.
We begann the workshop with songs of Africa. There already they get prepared and dived into the African Art.
In this workshops we had three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. Every day the student got more into the mood of the African week and the program get successful every day. On Friday we presented  a show to the entire village of Widen. 
These are one of the most wonderful workshops I used to give. 

Worldmusic in Icon club Zürich

The event company rumdum invited us to perform together with them in the Icon club in the heart of Zürich. The performance was a workshop with drumming, dancing and singing. The members of the rundum company are from all over the world and they are organizing traditional music from various countries in Africa, Europe, America, Asia and Australia. It was very interesting to work with them and they also brought a very good motivation to learn African music and dance. In the end they asked us if we can combine our African music with the DJ-work. A lot of songs were played, some familiar ones and some were unknown to us. But we used the skills of African Ghanaian traditional rhythms and melodies and made a nice jam session. Once more I saw, Ghana music, percussion and bell fits to every style.
We use the name wings of a dove percussion power to travel with you all over the continent.
Lets party together.
We are at yout service. 

African music and dance from Ghana and Westafrica: Music Gymnasium (art highschool) Münchenstein, Switzerland

During three days, we worked with three different levels of the Highschool of art in Münchenstein. The subject was African music, singing, dancing, drumming, rhythmicity and also concentration, coordination and communication in music and movements. 
We used elements from all over Africa, texts in Haussa language from Northern region of Nigeria, which is actually a used as an international trade language in Africa. Additional we used the language Ewe from Westafrica, which is also spoken in Togo, Ghana, Benin. Some songs were in Akan language from the Ashanti region of Ghana, Kumasi, and Fanti from the Central region of Ghana, Cape Coast, Elmina, Winneba. Many dances, rhythms and songs were new to the students. they put all their efforts in theses days and in the end we got a very good performance as a result. The audience was also taking part and we sang with them. The cheering and the applaus was immense. I always feel very happy in this school.

Invite our workshop in your school and let your students profit from the richness of African music, dance and rhythms with different percussion instruments.